I have just received a very touching story from owner Leslie Newman. Thankfully Leslie has given me permission to share it with all of you!
I have long selectively bred for collies with intelligence, stable temperaments and warm, generous, engaged personalities. I am proud and deeply moved by the kindness, warmth and wisdom Psyche brought to the people whose lives she touched!
You might want to have a kleenex handy!
I am attaching a couple of photos of Psyche for you. Psyche is gone now, but never forgotten.
Here is her story...
Our first collie, Psyche, was a certified therapy dog. Therapy Dog International has qualifications, but what she knew, could not be taught.
I was a social worker in an AIDS hospice at the time. A client of mine was just 21 years old, and had but a short time to live. His family did not know that he was gay, and he told them this at the same time that he told them he had AIDS... and was dying. They shunned him. All he had left in the way of family then, was his dog. Because he had to go to hospice, he lost his dog as well. When he arrived at the hospice, he was grieving the lack of family support, the loss of his dog, and was frightened. So I brought Psyche in to see him.
As we walked down the hall, past a number of patient rooms, she seemed to know where we were going, and surprisingly, actually led me to his room.
I have no explanation for this.
Psyche was 85 pounds, and my client might have been less than that. Psyche looked at him, broke free from me, and before I could stop her, hopped up on his hospital bed laying so carefully down next to him. He immediately put his arm around her white ruff and buried his face against her. Psyche lay quietly, clearly knowing what he needed, and she didn’t move for the next two hours while he lay there and stroked her fur. No one could teach her that. She just knew.
He died the next day. Intuitive dogs can bring grace.....
And today I am remembering all the lost young men back then. And all the people who are now dying of Covid....alone.
Thank you Leslie for the gift that Psyche was in our lives.